Tough times for the high street CD retailers continue - and bad news for all of us who still like to rummage through the racks.
It has been a dark year, as firstly the fabulous discount chain Music Zone, fondly known to this blogger as MZ, bit the dust but was then resurrected by the equally wonderful Fopp. Now Fopp is gone, apparently weighed down by financial problems and the ill-fated MZ takeover was the last nail in the coffin for a company which started from humble beginnings but took on too much, too soon.
The blame is, as usual, being pointed at the "shifting landscape in how we buy our music".... I admit that I'm very partial to buying CDs on the internet but nothing beats the enjoyment of going into a record shop. It never has. Or maybe I'm just getting old. I love my technology and believe that MP3 players are probably the must-have gadget of our age. But there is still a place for record shops...there is no thrill in downloading music compared to visiting a record shop, particularly one which offers great value for money. It's not just the little guys who are suffering. HMV's profits have also fallen but their management has guaranteed that over the next 3 years they expect most of their sales to come from their stores. After then - who knows?
Firstly MZ and now Fopp. The outlook seems bleak, but there is now a gap in the UK market for a no-nonsense discount music retailer which respects its customers and knows just what they want. Any takers?